Saturday, October 16, 2010

The State Fair Diet

If you find yourself losing too much weight and need to pack on a few pounds, you might want to try the State Fair Diet!

I traveled to Tulsa Oklahoma recently, and had a chance to drop by the Tulsa State Fair. I had been told that they had Deep Fried Butter, among other things! It wasn't quite a dare, but I guess I had to see (and taste) for myself. Luckily (?) we ended a little early on Friday and I had a little time to swing by the Fair on my way to the airport.

Here's what I found.

This is a booth that sold Krispy Kreme "donut burgers." They're like regular hamburgers except instead of hamburger buns they have Krispy Creme glazed donuts, top and bottom. Really.

Here is the Deep Fried Butter booth.

Here is the deep fried butter. Just a ball of butter that is breaded and deep fried. The butter melts out so this is just a hollow dough ball with a well-buttered interior. It's not that much butter, since most melts out. Not that exciting and not that great, ultimately. Checked it off my list, no need to eat that again.

Finally, this is the circumcised corn dog I ate. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Other stuff I saw included deep fried Oreos and deep fried Twinkies.

Now, I don't mean to pick on the Tulsa State Fair. Any state fair is going to have it's share of great greasy food. My favorite is the deep fried cheese curds I first had at the Minnesota State Fair.

Feel free to add your favorites. I know people will eat all kinds of crazy shit if you either deep fry it or put it on a stick.

I'm not a big fan of the State Fair Diet. I like to do things a bit differently. I prefer to gain my excess weight by eating good food, but lots of it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Daniel Henninger: Capitalism Saved the Miners

At this point we have all heard that the trapped miners in Chile have been rescued. Great story. But what made it possible?

Here is a great column in the Wall Street Journal that discusses how capitalism, vibrant businesses continuing to innovate, contributed to their rescue. Without the products that people produce (with a profit motive!), this rescue would never have been possible.

Daniel Henninger: Capitalism Saved the Miners

Read the article quickly! The Wall Street Journal doesn't make all its columns available for free for very long.

More garbage from the left

So there was another rally at the National Mall. It was a small union rally, officially called the "One Nation Working Together" rally, on Saturday, October 2.

Not surprisingly, they trashed the place. I've posted about this before ("The difference between the right and the left - an example", September 5, 2010)

Here's the story, from the Patriot Post:

One of the comments following this article nailed it:
"It's indicative of the left that they do not clean up after themselves. It's a function of their mindset. Everything is alway someone else's problem."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Song of the Day: Regina Spektor - The Call

Here is a very touching song.

Regina Spektor - The Call

I heard this at the end of the movie "The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian" that my daughters were watching. Recommended for kids of all ages. Here is the end of the movie, with Regina Spektor's song:

Computer Eye Strain: How to Relieve It

Here is an interesting article for those of us who sit in front of a computer all day. It has some exercises that might help your eyes.

Computer Eye Strain: How to Relieve It
by Dr. Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac.

Here is one of the exercises:

Near-far focus
This exercise improves eye flexibility:
  • Hold your thumb six inches from your nose.
  • Focus on your thumb.
  • Take one deep breath and exhale slowly.
  • Then focus on an object about 10 feet away.
  • Take another deep breath and slowly exhale.
  • Repeat back and forth 15 times

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Things Google is doing

This is great commentary on Google. What are we up to? Is this stuff even good for our business?

From The Economist:
"Things Google is doing"

Here is The Economist's blog post in its entirety. Funny and to the point!

IT'S only Tuesday, but so far this week we've learned that Google, ostensibly an internet search company, or a media company, or an advertising company, is:

  • Using web data to track inflation
  • Pioneering driverless-car technology, and testing it around the San Francisco Bay area
  • Building a massive offshore power grid to facilitate transmission of wind energy

At this point, it's probably more useful to keep tabs on the things Google isn't doing. Watering my plants, for instance. As of right now, Google is not involved in any initiative associated with the watering of my house plants. But as I said, it's only Tuesday.

Life is short, enjoy It. Rest in peace, Aaron.

A friend and colleague was shot and killed a few weeks ago. This is not a tale of someone who made the wrong choices in life. Aaron was a good man. He had reached a point in his life where he was where he wanted to be, in every sense of the phrase. He was happily married, expecting a child. He had started to pursue his dream, working as a music producer. He was working in a studio in an house near Turner Field in Atlanta when it was broken into. Wrong place, wrong time.

I thought about Aaron a lot when I skated A2A recently. It's a long skate and there is plenty of time to think. Despite all that time, I can't understand it. I don't know what to say, or how to help his wife (who is pregnant with their child). All I can say is that life is short. It can end at any time. Enjoy it while you can.

Rest in peace, Aaron.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quote of the Day: James Madison on government

"It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect." - James Madison, 1833

This quote speaks to me because I happen to believe that less government is better than the huge government we have today. Yet anytime I make the argument that less government is better people take it to mean I'm some sort of anarchist. They hear "government is bad, therefore you must support the complete abolition of it."

I think Madison summed it up very well with this quote. Government is needed. But we should strive for the least imperfect, the least intrusive, form of government. Unfortunately we are moving in the opposite direction over the years.

Google continues to mismanage Android

Google is doing very well with its Android mobile phone operating system. But they could be doing better.

Google's weblink "," which used to sell the Nexus One, is now a list of phones with Android loaded on them. But because Android is an open source platform, manufacturers and service providers can modify it significantly from the plain vanilla (and very good) version that Google produces.


1. How much should phone manufacturers and service providers be allowed to modify Android and still retain the "with Google" marketing label on them?

2. Why do some phones get the "with Google" label when nearly identical phones (same phone built for a different service provider) do not?

3. Does Google really have an objective set of criteria to earn the "with Google" label? Or are they influenced by business relationships to favor some phones and providers above others? It certainly appears as though the latter is true, which, even if not true, is not good for Google's credibility. After all, even the appearance of favoritism will hurt them in the marketplace.

AndroidGuys: Google Phone Gallery Launches, "with Google" Confusion Continues

There are plenty of phones on this list that are heavily modified, to the point where I don't believe they deserve the "with Google" branding. Google is allowing its brand to be cheapened by bloatware and poor design choices by its so-called partners. I discussed this a while back ("Is Android open? Really?" on September 21, 2010).

On the other hand, some of the modified Android firmware builds improve on the base Android code in important ways. For example, my Motorola Droid X has separate timers for screen off and screen lock. That is, the screen goes dark after a minute but I can wake it up without entering my unlock pattern unless it times out to, say, 5 minutes (whatever I set). This is a huge inconvenience on my Nexus One. I have no idea why the base Android firmware doesn't include this basic level of functionality that many competitors have.

My Droid X also handles connections to computers better than the base Android firmware on my Nexus One. I can set up my Droid X in "charge only" mode so that it doesn't bother me with a notification that I must clear every time I connect it.

Google is also doing a miserable job with the Android Market.

I recently did a factory reset on one of my Android phones (in order to link it to my daughters' GMail account). After doing to, I had to re-install a number of the apps that my girls wanted on the phone. One that they don't care about yet (but they will!) is Google Voice. So I went to Market from the phone and searched for "Google Voice," the exact name of the app. Amazingly, it was the 8th listing as a result of that search! This is a Google-produced app on a Google phone searching a Google website. And it can't even place an EXACT NAME MATCH at the top of the search results! This is just ridiculous.

This is why I am so encouraged to hear that Amazon may be developing their own Android market. Don't misunderstand, I want the best for Google. But Google is simply not getting the job done here. More competition is good for consumers (including me) and I think that in the long run it will be beneficial for Android in general. People are more likely to choose Android if there are vibrant, competitive markets for apps. Which is not the case now, sadly.

Application Development Trends: Google's Android Market Store Faces New Threat from Amazon

Gigaom: Google’s Android Market Neglect Opens Door for Amazon and Others

"That’s a real issue. Gottlieb, who sells a crossword app, says he makes 20-30 times more selling his apps in the App Store compared to Android Market. It’s gotten a little better lately, but it’s still discouraging trying to sell in Android Market, which has more than 80,000 apps. Developers like Gottlieb say the store needs more recommendation and discovery tools, more categories, a better check-out system and more marketing muscle. These are all things that Amazon could immediately address."

Wall Street Journal: Amazon Amps Up Apps Rivalry

Even BestBuy is rumored to be considering their own app store. From AndroidGuys: Best Buy “Exploring Concept” of an Android App Store

The more the better, in my opinion. Competition is good for consumers. And if consumers have better choices then Android will be a more attractive platform. Not only for consumers but for developers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Google builds a car that drives itself!

Here is a report about the possible future of transportation:

Using technology available today, we can build cars capable of driving themselves. Here is Google's announcement of this on their blog:

I don't know what to say other than WOW. I could really use something like this. Get in the car at night, set the destination, go to sleep, and wake up where I want to be! I already do that when going to places like North Carolina and South Carolina (better to escape Atlanta at night when there is no traffic), except I don't get the sleep!